President Mohammadu Buhari yesterday bid farewell to the Super Eagles team to Russia 2018 World Cup and charged them to demonstrate the gallant spirit, which Nigerians are known for.
President Buhari spoke when he met with the Super Eagles and technical crew led by Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung at the presidential villa, Abuja, as they prepare for their sixth appearance at the tournament.
The President, who charged them to acquit themselves honourably by winning the World Cup, reminded the team that they were carrying the emotions of over 180 million Nigerians to the tournament, and would, therefore, expect a brilliant performance.
“Nothing unites Nigerians more than football and nothing will gladden the hearts of Nigerians than for you to acquit yourselves honourably by winning in Russia.
“You are going to represent us in Russia, you must bear in mind that you are not just going for a tournament, with each game you must remember that you are carrying the passions, emotions and feelings of over 180 million Nigerians.
“Play fair and clean but demonstrate the gallant spirit which Nigerians are known for,” he said.
Commending the Football Federation for drawing up the right programme to help in refining the team to the powerful force which it is meant to be, President Buhari said Nigerians would look up to the Super Eagles to make them proud at the world stage.
Speaking, Dalung said the team and technical crew were in high spirits and motivated to soar above their opponents at the World Cup. He expressed hopes that the team would surpass the country’s previous outings at the tournament and do the nation proud.
President of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, said no past President had surpassed what President Buhari has done for sports development in the country.
“I want to thank you for the massive support you have given to the NFF and for creating the enabling environment for the prosperity and stability we are enjoying in football today.
“Our dream is to create a culture of football sustainable development and that has been one of the plans in which we took when we came into existence.
Coach of the Super Eagles, Gernot Rohr said: “To come out of the difficult group with Argentina, Croatia, Ireland in the first step is the teams concern,” but expressed optimism that the players would be able to achieve the feat.
Earlier, Super Eagles Captain, Mikel Obi thanked the Buhari administration for the commitment towards promoting.